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WOMEN-----wearing tefillin

Achiezer Posted - 29 November 2001 15:00

I came across this "teshuvah" by a Conservative rabbi dealing with whether women can wear tefillin...what do you think of it Moderator?

May Women Wear Tefillin?
David Golinkin

". . . Thus, the overwhelming halakhic evidence teaches us that women may wear tefillin like Mikhal bat Shaul and we do not protest.

Of course, they must wear them with the same kavvanah and halakhic restrictions binding upon men."

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2001 17:14

Forgive me for deleting the bulk of it.

It's nonsense.

The Rama rules that women may not wear Tefillin. All poskim after him have accepted that, and - this is important - the excepted custom is that women do not put on Tefilin. Now look at the Targum Yonason on Lo Yilbash Gever, where he says a woman may not put on Tefillin because it is a man's garment.

Secondly, the conservative "rabbi" (sic) doesn’t understand how Halachah works. Once the Poskim all accept the ruling of the Rama, which they have, it doesn’t matter what Tannaim or individual stories once happened. We follow the accepted Halachic practice.

Moreover, the Rama's reasoning is that women are not able to maintain the proper thoughts for Tefillin. That being the case, this would apply more and more as the generations progress (or: regress, rather). SO it would prove nothing id individual women in ancient times put on Tefillin or if certain authorities in ancient times allowed it. The issue is, the Rama says they would not allow it today.

And the idea that women can maintain such a level as good as men won’t work either. First, if the Rama says they cannot, then you will have to prove that they can. And second, men are obligated to put on Tefillin, and therefore even if it is difficult for them to maintain such a level, we have no choice, since it is a Mitzvah D’oraisa for them to do it.

It's like when the Gemora says that really we would not allow men into the Bais Medrash unless they are "tocho k'baro", but since there is a Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, we must.

Or --- the reason men do not put on Tefillin all day is because we cannot maintain this level. However, we have to put on Tefillin some time since there is an obligation to do so. Women who have no such obligation are no better than men the rest of the day. Meaning, they do not put it on.

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